Built in 1855, The Carrollton Courthouse has been serving the public for over 160 years. Bought with money provided by John McDonogh, it has been a public school since 1889.

Orleans Parish School Board is now planning to auction it to the highest bidder on March 23rd. We want to delay the auction and put out a Request for Proposals to find a public use for the building to benefit all of New Orleans.

Our proposal is for a School for the Building Arts to continue the legacy of Carrollton Courthouse: preserving our past, while building a better future.


We are asking the school board to delay the auction so that the citizens of New Orleans can come together to explore real options to keep it Public.

Our plan , as well as Louisiana Landmarks Society's, is for a school that would benefit all of New Orleans and Louisiana:

When the town of Carrollton became part of Orleans Parish in 1874, the community used it as a venue for coming together: putting on plays, playing music, hosting meetings, and having celebrations. The City of New Orleans then bought the building, using money from the will of John McDonogh, and it has been a school ever since. It has remained a public building for its entire life, each generation passing it down to the next for the benefit of everyone in the community, and the city. After almost being sold in the 1950's, it became the home of Benjamin Franklin High School, a great institution and the first high school in New Orleans to desegregate in the 1960's. This building is too important to sell.

The Carrollton Courthouse is not only a historical and architectural treasure, it is a legacy of public enrichment that spans generations. Once again this legacy is being threatened by private purchase, and so once again the people of this city must use our creativity and our tenacity to keep it in the hands of the public, restore its grandeur, and pass it on to future New Orleanians, as it was passed on to us.

Carrollton Courthouse is a beloved landmark with a rich tradition of serving the community. It deserves a special place in New Orleans’ future.
— Stephanie Meeks, President and CEO of the National Trust